License Requirements for Turkey Hunting

To engage in wild turkey hunting, specific license and stamp requirements must be met to ensure compliance with regulations. Here are the essential details:

General Requirements:

  • A valid turkey hunting license and Game Bird Habitat Stamp are mandatory for wild turkey hunting.

Exceptions:

  • Holders of lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting, and fishing, or resident or nonresident youth hunt/trap licenses can hunt turkeys without purchasing the Game Bird Habitat Stamp, as it is already included in these license types.

Seasonal Considerations:

  • A separate turkey hunting license is necessary for both spring and fall seasons.
  • Game Bird Habitat Stamps are valid for both spring and fall seasons within the same calendar year.

Collaboration:

  • If assisting another hunter by calling, regardless of personal turkey harvest, individuals must be licensed to turkey hunt.

By adhering to these license requirements, hunters contribute to responsible and regulated wild turkey hunting practices, supporting the conservation and sustainability of turkey populations.

Season and Bag Limits for Turkey Hunting

Fall 2023

  • Bag and Possession Limit:

    • One bird of either sex.
  • Fall Archery Season:

    • Statewide from Oct. 1-29, 2023, and Dec. 2, 2023 - Jan. 7, 2024.
    • Includes crossbows.
  • Fall Firearms Season:

    • Oct. 18-29, 2023, in specific counties (refer to the map).

Spring 2024

  • Spring Season:

    • Runs from April 24 - May 12, 2024.
  • Bag Limit:

    • One bearded or male turkey for the spring season.
  • Hunting Area:

    • Spring turkey hunting is allowed statewide.

Reserved Turkey Hunts

Reserved turkey hunts provide unique opportunities for hunters at select DNR Fish & Wildlife areas, Big Oaks, and Muscatatuck national wildlife refuges. The following information outlines the process for participating in these hunts:

Locations:

  • DNR Fish & Wildlife Areas:

    • Select DNR Fish & Wildlife areas that offer reserved turkey hunts.
  • National Wildlife Refuges:

    • Big Oaks and Muscatatuck national wildlife refuges also host reserved turkey hunts.

Application Process:

  • Managed Through DNR Reserved Hunt System:

    • Applications and drawings for reserved turkey hunts are handled through the DNR reserved hunt system.
  • Details and Application:

    • For detailed information and to apply during open applications, visit hunting.IN.gov.

Bag Limit Consideration:

  • Turkey Harvested:
    • Turkeys harvested during reserved hunts count toward the hunter’s overall season bag limit.

By participating in reserved turkey hunts, hunters can experience exclusive opportunities and contribute to responsible wildlife management practices.

Youth Turkey Hunting Season

For detailed information regarding the youth turkey hunting season, please refer to the dedicated section on Youth Hunting. Explore specific details, regulations, and opportunities for young hunters during the youth season. Ensure a fulfilling and educational experience for youth participants by accessing comprehensive information on Youth Hunting at the appropriate resource.

Legal Equipment for Turkey Hunting

Turkeys can be legally hunted using the following equipment:

Shotguns:

  • Size and Gauge:

    • A .410 caliber and 10-, 12-, 16-, 20-, or 28-gauge shotgun.
    • Loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7, or 7½.
    • Alternatively, loaded with Tungsten Super Shot 8, 9, and 10.
  • Shot Size Restrictions:

    • Shot sizes smaller than size 7½ must be made of Tungsten Super Shot or equivalent pellet density, such as Tungsten Super Shot 8, 9, and 10.
  • Non-Toxic Shot Requirement:

    • Non-toxic shot is required while hunting turkey on some DNR properties.
    • Hunters should contact the specific property for additional information.

Muzzleloading Shotgun:

  • Not smaller than 20-gauge and not larger than 10-gauge.
  • Loaded with pellets of size 4, 5, 6, 7, 7½, and Tungsten Super Shot 8, 9, and 10.
  • Combination loads using shot sizes other than these are illegal.

Archery:

  • Bow and arrow.

Crossbow:

  • Crossbow.

Turkey Hunting Hours

Wild turkey hunting is subject to specific time regulations for ethical and responsible practices. Here are the designated hunting hours:

  • From one-half hour before sunrise to sunset:

    • Wild turkeys may be hunted during this timeframe.
  • Spring Season Hunting Hours on DNR Properties:

    • For all DNR properties managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife during the spring season:
      • CT Properties: One-half hour before sunrise until noon.
      • ET Properties: One-half hour before sunrise until 1 p.m.
  • Mushroom Hunters:

    • Mushroom hunters are required to stay out of the field until after the specified hunting hours.

Turkey Tagging Requirements

Upon successfully harvesting a turkey, hunters must adhere to specific tagging requirements to ensure proper documentation. Here are the key details:

  • Immediate Tagging:

    • Hunters must complete a temporary transportation tag on paper immediately upon killing a turkey.
  • Required Information:

    • The temporary transportation tag must include the following details:
      • Hunter’s full name.
      • Address.
      • Sex of the turkey.
      • License number (if applicable).
      • Date the turkey was taken.
  • Transportation from the Field:

    • The completed temporary transportation tag must accompany the turkey during transportation from the field.

Turkey Reporting Requirements

In compliance with regulations, hunters must fulfill reporting requirements for harvested turkeys within 48 hours of the kill. Here are the essential details:

Reporting Methods:

  • 1. Self Reporting Online:

  • 2. Phone Reporting:

    • Call 800-419-1326. Note that a $3 fee applies for this reporting method.
  • 3. In-Person Reporting:

    • Visit a check station, license vendor, or retailer who can file the information for you through CheckIN Game.

Confirmation Number:

  • Once the turkey is registered with the CheckIN Game system, a confirmation number will be generated.

Documentation:

  • The generated confirmation number must be recorded on a temporary transportation tag.

  • The temporary transportation tag, with the confirmation number, must be kept with the turkey until processing begins.

Additional Resources:

  • For a printable version of a temporary transportation tag, visit hunting.IN.gov.

By adhering to these reporting requirements, hunters contribute to the accurate documentation of turkey harvests, supporting wildlife management efforts and ensuring responsible hunting practices.

Hunter Orange Requirements for Turkey Hunting

During specific periods, turkey hunters are required to meet designated hunter orange requirements to ensure safety and visibility. Here are the details for the specified timeframe:

Hunting Period:

  • Dec. 9-24, 2023:
    • Hunter orange requirements apply during this period for turkey hunting.

Compliance:

  • Refer to Hunter Orange Requirements:
    • Hunters must refer to the detailed Hunter Orange requirements to ensure compliance during the specified timeframe.

Fair Chase Regulations for Turkey Hunting

Ensuring fair and ethical practices during turkey hunting is paramount. Here are the regulations to adhere to for fair chase:

  • Prohibited Practices:

    • It is illegal to use or possess:
      • A dog or another domesticated animal.
      • A live decoy.
      • A recorded call.
      • An electronically powered or controlled decoy.
      • Bait.
  • Baiting Considerations:

    • An area is considered baited for 10 days after the removal of the bait and affected soil.
  • Exception for Normal Agricultural Practices:

    • An area is not considered baited if it is attractive to wild turkeys resulting from normal agricultural practices.

Fall Wild Turkey Sex and Age Determination

During the fall season, determining the sex and age of wild turkeys involves careful examination. Here's a guide for accurate identification:

Sex Determination:

  • No Obvious Leg Spur:

    • Use breast feathers to determine sex.
  • Obvious Leg Spur (Indicating Male):

    • If there is an obvious leg spur, the bird is a male.
  • Leg Spur Length:

    • Adult Male: 1/2 inch or longer.
    • Juvenile Male: Less than 1/2 inch.

Age Determination:

  • No Obvious Leg Spur:
    • Use wing tips to determine age.
    • Consider the amount of barring and the shape of the 9th and 10th primary tips.

2023 Fall Turkey Firearms & Archery Seasons Map

2023 Fall Turkey Firearms & Archery Seasons Map

Indiana Hunting Regulations and Licenses

Call the Game Bird Habitat Stamp

In Indiana, hunters engaging in wild turkey hunting are required to have the "Game Bird Habitat Stamp," often colloquially referred to as the "habitat stamp." This stamp is vital for the conservation and enhancement of habitats that support wild turkeys and other game birds, ensuring sustainable hunting opportunities.

Wild Turkeys Hunting Lifetime Comprehensive

For those passionate about wild turkeys hunting, Indiana offers a "Lifetime Comprehensive Hunting" license. This license encompasses all hunting privileges, including wild turkey hunting. It's designed for residents who are committed to hunting as a lifelong pursuit, simplifying the need for annual renewals and offering a broad scope of hunting opportunities under one license.

Spring Turkey Hunting Lifetime Comprehensive

Spring turkey hunting in Indiana is a significant season for hunters. With the "Lifetime Comprehensive Hunting" license, residents can enjoy the benefits of this license throughout various seasons, including the spring turkey season. This comprehensive license ensures that hunters are legally equipped for the spring turkey hunting season each year without the need for additional purchases or renewals.

Season Hunting Lifetime Comprehensive

The "Season Hunting Lifetime Comprehensive" license in Indiana is a testament to the state's commitment to providing a simplified and extensive hunting experience. Whether for deer, turkey, or other game, this license covers all season hunting needs for residents, ensuring that they are prepared for various hunting seasons throughout their lifetime. This comprehensive approach is particularly beneficial for regular hunters, offering a long-term solution to licensing requirements across multiple seasons and types of game.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.